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Grant Thornton-Krush Bikes-Tunap Sports animates first-ever women's Scheldeprijs

In the first-ever women’s Scheldeprijs, Grant Thornton-Krush Bikes-Tunap Sports has certainly ligtened up the race. The Belgian 1.1 race did end in a bunch sprint. During the hectic final, Clara Lundmark sprinted to 20th place after 136 km. Before that, the Krush bike of Daniek Hengeveld got plenty of air time. Hengeveld entertained the race with a 40 km long solo, putting herself and the team in the spotlight.

Daniek Hengeveld was de grote animator van de wedstrijd - foto: Highlights of Cycling Weekly - Anton Vos/Cor Vos

With about 50 km left in the race, Hengeveld put the hammer down. She says: “There were plenty of echelons in the beginning of the race. It was hectic and a matter of pushing through. I wasn’t in my rhythm entirely, but, you know, it is my third race in a brand new peloton. It’s only natural that it can take some time to adapt.”

“But the further we get into a race, the better it usually goes. During the local laps, I think everyone knew that there was little chance for more echelons. It was either a headwind or a full-on tailwind. Not ideal. There were a lot of crashes. I didn’t want to be part of that, so I rode to the front. Just as a I got up front, some riders were breaking away from the bunch and I followed them. When they stopped pushing, I thought I’d better try it once myself. This time, with success.” 

“I am not a real sprinter. In this very hectic sprint, not much would have been possible for me. For me, attacking is the way to go in these races. Before the race, everyone was saying it was going to be a bunch sprint. I want to be that person who shows that there are other ways to ride a bike race.” Hengeveld’s attack was the main breakaway of the day. She gradually built up her advantage, gaining a maximum of 1,5 minute on the peloton.

It was still a long way to go, but when I had 1,5 minutes, the peloton realised they had to get a move on. I never looked back and I just kept focusing on the road ahead.” Eventually, Hengeveld was caught again on the finale passage over the Broekstraat cobbles, with a mere 8 km left to race, after which a bunch sprint concluded the race. “Clara’s sprint wasn’t entirely what we hoped for, but she luckily managed to grab some UCI points in the hectic sprint. I also think that as a team, we learned a lot today. I think I showed myself and the team to the world, so there are a lot of positives we can take away from this race. I will definitely go for it again. I love attacking and I am convinced it will pay off eventually. They will certainly know who I am now, but that’s OK. Everyone may know that I am there.”